Bruins Come Through in Shootout, Celtics Lose To Lowly Pistons

The Bruins blew a 3-1 third period lead, but survived overtime, and got a goal from Tyler Seguin in the shootout to beat the Canadiens 4-3 in Montreal last night.

The Celtics, meanwhile, got a big game from Rajon Rondo, but didn’t get Ray Allen and Paul Pierce involved in the game hardly at all, and dropped a home game to the lowly Detroit Pistons, 98-88.

Point taken by Bruins – Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins will take this one as they began a six-game road trip.

Bruins’ Victory Proves Costly As Rich Peverley Suffers Knee Injury, Zdeno Chara Takes Puck to Face – Douglas Flynn says that the Bruins paid a price for this one.

Will Brad Marchand be suspended again, and will Rich Peverley miss time? – DJ Bean notes that a possible suspension for Marchand could make this win even costlier.

B’s may be finding their focus – Joe Haggerty thinks that the Bruins might be getting their act together.

Fans cheer Zdeno Chara injury – The Herald notebook has the Montreal fans cheering loudly when the Bruins captain took a puck off the chin. The Globe notebook from Kevin Paul Dupont has Johnny Boychuk happy to have found a home.

C’s lost at home – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics unable to take advantage of a favorable home-heavy schedule to being the season and will now spend much of the rest of the season on the road. Chris Forsberg says that there have already been a lot of squandered opportunities for this team. Paul Flannery says that an uncertain road awaits the Celtics.

Celts out of sync offensively – A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics struggling to score again last night.

Wilcox contributes energy, points – Diana C. Nearhos has the free agent signee a bright spot last night with 17 points.

Source: Celtics wanted to grab Jeremy Lin – The Herald notebook says that the Celtics tried to claim the Knicks new sensation twice – only to have teams ahead of them grab the guard. The Globe notebook from Frank Dell’Apa has Kevin Garnett sitting out last night.

Buchholz feeling strong – Peter Abraham has the Red Sox righty feeling strong heading into camp.

Why the future is not now for Jose Iglesias – Alex Speier says that even though the Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro this offseason, don’t expect Iglesias to fill the hole at shortstop.

Painting a picture by numbers – Greg A Bedard completes his season-wrap of the Patriots with a look at some relevant statistics and numbers.

Brandon Lloyd’s agent puts Pats on call – Ron Borges talks with Tom Condon, the agent for Lloyd, who has had a famously poor (or nonexistent) relationship with the Patriots since the ugly rookie contract negotiations for Benjamin Watson.

Greg Dickerson Opens Up on Battle With Epilepsy, Tourette Syndrome

In an interview with Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, CSNNE Celtics sideline reporter Greg Dickerson outlines his recent health scares, and opens up about his battle with epilepsy and Tourette syndrome.

Greg Dickerson, Celtics reporter, details battle with Tourette syndrome, epilepsy

Two days before the Celtics’ season opener against the Knicks on Christmas, Dickerson, his wife Shannon and their 3-year-old son Cole hopped in their car to drive to New York. Shannon didn’t feel well and had asked Greg to drive for the beginning of the trip, but she got behind the wheel any way.

“Nobody said a word about it,” Dickerson said. “We just went off on our way, but if I had driven, the three of us would be dead.”

Not long into the drive, Dickerson suffered a seizure. He recalls having difficulty speaking and slamming his fist on the dashboard in frustration, then blanking out. The next thing he remembers is sitting on the side of I-95 in Attleboro while the state police and fire and rescue squad tried to convince him to get out of the car. Dickerson spent the night at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. Medical tests ruled out a brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, but doctors weren’t sure what the problem was.

He January he suffered another seizure, this time in the middle of a Celtics broadcast. He’s since been diagnosed with epilepsy (Chad Finn had reported that on February 3rd) and is on medication to prevent further seizures.

In addition, from the Doyle article:

Dickerson revealed for the first time publicly that he has also suffered from Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder for 15 years and dyslexia, a reading disability, since the third grade.

He detailed how he copes with those conditions and the support he has received. He’s been back on the job during Celtics games since January 31st, and expects to improve as time goes on.

Bob Ryan Bowing Out, Bruins Blanked

It wasn’t exactly breaking news, but when Bob Ryan told Bill Simmons yesterday on the B.S. Report that he will be hanging it up after the 2012 Olympic games in London, it caused quite a stir.

Ryan had hinted previously that he’d likely be scaling things back following the Olympics, and he emphasized yesterday that he won’t be going away completely. He’ll still be around for the occasional column or TV/Radio appearance, but he wants to move on, and do some other things with his life, which he deserves to do. Interestingly he cited the demands of blogging and tweeting in this modern age as things he’s not comfortable with, and part of the reason he feels he doesn’t fit in anymore.

The last link to the glory days of the Boston Globe, Ryan has had a tremendous career and his weekly voice will be missed. The podcast is exhibit “A.” Even if you’re not a huge NBA fan, it is a great listen, and you really get the sense of his passion for the game. Couple this podcast with last week’s with Larry Bird, and Simmons is on a roll here.

There will be more on Ryan as we get closer to the Olympics, I’m sure.

The Bruins continue to stumble as they were shut out by the New York Rangers last night 3-0.

Ice dam – Fluto Shinzawa reports on Henrik Lundqvist shutting out the Bruins last night.

Where did the Bruins go? – Stephen Harris says that hitting the road might be the best thing for the Bruins.Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins have work to do.

Bruins clearly have big expectations for Johnny Boychuk – DJ Bean says that the new deal for the defenseman reflects the faith they have in him.

Peter Chiarelli proceeds with caution – Joe McDonald says that the Bruins GM would like to swing a trade.

Rockland’s Josh Hennessy feels at home in Boston Bruins dressing room – Mike Loftus has a look at the callup.

Johnny Boychuk stays a Bruin – Dan Duggan’s notebook has more on the new deal. The Globe notebook from Fluto Shinzawa and the Bruins Journal both have the same lede.

Kevin Garnett’s turn to take seat – Peter May has KG as the latest injury casualty for the Celtics. Scott Souza says that the Celtics are a team of wounded. A. Sherrod Blakely says that the KG injury might mean the first career start for JaJuan Johnson.

Ivy climbers – With the success of Jeremy Lin in New York, Bob Ryan takes a look at other Ivy League players who have made an impact in the NBA.

Reuniting Brandon Lloyd With Josh McDaniels an Interesting Possibility and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts – Jeff Howe thinks the Patriots have an excellent shot of returning to the Super Bowl.

Brandon Spikes hyped-up for ’12 – Karen Guregian says that the linebacker could be a difference-maker for the Patriots defense.

Which Patriots made the grade? – Greg A Bedard knocks out the grades for the entire Patriots roster.

Bard ready to toe the starting line – Nick Cafardo has Daniel Bard ready to give it a go as a starter.

Think what you want, the Red Sox do spend – Ron Borges dispels the notion of the alleged belt-tightening at Fenway. It was amusing to hear Tony Massarotti scream that the Red Sox were cheap AND that they overpaid for David Ortiz within the span of 10 seconds yesterday.

Red Sox spring training gets a face-lift thanks to Tim Bogar, Bobby Valentine – Rob Bradford looks at how things will be different this spring.

Beckett arrives, takes mound – Peter Abraham has Josh Beckett showing up and getting some work done in Ft Myers.

Ranking the best (and worst) TV announcers in Boston sportsKirk Minihane still doesn’t like Jack Edwards.

It’s Been Target Practice for the Boston Sports Media – George Cain looks at the current targets.

Season Ending Patriots Media Thoughts

Much like the Patriots season, the performance of the media covering the team this season was marked by highs and lows.

For the most part, the day-to-day coverage from the beat reporters was solid. It’s a veteran group, who understand how things work down in Foxborough, and have learned to make the best of what can be a challenging situation for the media.

Beat reporters generally stay away from the hysteria that often accompanies good or bad performance or controversial transactions. I’m lumping the “NFL Reporters” (Such as Greg Bedard) in with the “beat” reporters, because both are generally down at Gillette everyday. Here are a few thumbnails on some of the reporters who covered the team this season, in no particular order:

Tom E Curran
In addition to his work on the CSNNE.com website, Curran also hosts the weekly show Quick Slants. He brings a unique sense of humor to his job, while still maintaining solid reporting and analysis. Curran is usually good for one or two headscratchers a season, where he seems to deviate from the script a little bit. This year was no exception, as a couple of times during appearances on WEEI’s Big Show, he took a harder line stance against the team on a matter. Overall though, Curran is thoroughly enjoyable to both read and watch/listen to.

Ian R Rapoport
It’s a testament to Rapoport’s prolific output of Tweets and blogging that if you type “Rapsheet” into Google, his stuff comes up first. Engage him, he’ll respond, at almost any time of day. Like Curran, humor is a big part of his coverage, but he also is a very good reporter. He started doing weekly appearances on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this season, and while it took half the year for John Dennis to say “Rapsheet” instead of “RapReport,” Rapoport did a good job defusing many of D&C’s conspiracy theories and attempts at controversy. He tends to go off-track on his Twitter account from time to time, but he’s an entertaining follow, and does break his share of news, especially when it comes to injury reporting.

Mike Reiss
While he created much of the blueprint for how the Patriots beat is covered in the Belichick era, Mike is still at the top of his game, bringing endless bits of information to his blog and keeping a level head in chats with so-called “fans” of the Patriots. He’s expressed frustration at the level of negativity around the team, and you also get the sense he doesn’t always love the stuff that ESPN sort of force-feeds into his blog. He still does things no one else is doing, such as the offensive and defensive snap counts, which are used by almost every other media outlet in town – whether they give Reiss credit or not.

Greg A Bedard
A very good hire from Joe Sullivan. And no, I’m not intentionally damning with faint praise there. Bedard is knowledgable about the game, well-connected around the league, and truly objective in his coverage of the team. His weekly breakdowns of the previous game are must-read features, and his radio and television appearances are mostly informative. Bedard is also responsive on Twitter, and has set up meetings with Twitter followers on the night before road games. He’ll occasionally gripe about the lack of access/communication or compare things unfavorably with how things were run in Green Bay, but he’s kept this to a minimum this season. From a pure football standpoint, Bedard is probably the most knowledgeable on the beat.

Christopher Price
Another solid year for Price, who still utilizes the “10 Things” model that he brought over from his days at the Metro. Price is very good at breaking things down into an easy-to-understand and digest format. His on-air appearances on WEEI are solid, and the affable Price is truly one of the nice guys in the business. He generally stays pretty positive in his approach to the team, while still telling it like it is when necessary.

Shalise Manza Young
From a straight reporting and writing standpoint, Young is solid. She has gotten several scoops this season, mostly relating to injuries and transactions. Her stories in the Globe are well written and usually look at the subject in a personal manner. It’s when she gets on Twitter, or does the online chats on Boston.com that Young seems to go off the reservation a bit, and takes a different view of the team – complaining about access, making up strawman arguments about Patriots fans preferring to finish 13-3 and lose in the first round of the playoffs instead of going 11-5 and going to the Super Bow. Turns out you can go 13-3 AND go to the Super Bowl. Who knew?

Karen Guregian
A solid pro, Guregian and Rapoport are a solid team at the Herald. They crank out daily content in quantities surpassing the competition, and most of it good. Guregian usually takes the “larger picture” view of things, looking at how things are trending, good or bad, and also focuses on the individual players and their perspective.

Others
A few thoughts on some others on the beat: Mark Farinella is the ultimate trick or treat. One day he’s writing a very good story, the next day he’s accusing Bob Kraft of forcing the power company to kowtow to his demands to restore power to Gillette Stadium before residences in Foxborough. One day he’s done a great profile on a player, and the next he’s angrily blogging about self-appointed NH-based media critics. Ron Borges is now an afterthought when it comes to the Patriots. Perhaps he’s seen that his schtick has run its course or been done better by others and is plotting his next move. Curran’s sidekick Mary Paoletti is much more than the email girl on Quick Slants. She does solid player features and is a good follow on Twitter. Glen Farley does a solid job for the Gatehouse crew. Jonathan Comey is always an interesting read down at the New Bedford Standard TimesJeff Howe probably deserves more than being lumped into this paragraph, as he is down there every day, and I like his analysis on NESN.com and on NESN Daily. Nick Underhill at MassLive.com might be an up and comer, while Paul Kenyon at the Providence Journal is a solid vet, who did some very nice work toward the end of this season. I can’t leave out Hector Longo. I think he actually knows the game a little bit, but he’d be better off served not trying to get noticed by bashing Jerod Mayo in every single column. Monique Walker did a very nice job at the Globe before departing to Baltimore. She got the notice of Bill Belichick who acknowledged her last day on the job. The Patriots Football Weekly crew of Paul Perillo, Andy Hart and Erik Scalavino are all pretty good, their value seems highest during training camp when the full practice reports come out and the PFW ones are usually the most detailed.

On-Air

This is where things get crazy. Sports radio and television in so many ways is completely out of control. Here, it’s all about opinion, and having an edgy take. We’ll take a look here at things outlet-by-outlet, rather than personality or show.

WEEI
Starting the day off, Dennis and Callahan have some good guests during the season, led by quarterback Tom Brady. As the Globe is sure to tell you, this is a contractually obligated paid weekly appearance by Brady. The QB is unfailingly polite to the pair, and sometimes you wonder why, given the length and substance of some of the questions put forth. Some of the other guests – Mike Lombardi, Boomer Esiason, are also usually worth a listen. What happened to Adam Schefter? When not talking to guests, the show can get brutal, especially when the Patriots have dared to win a game by too many points. The mid-day show is just a disaster when it comes to the Patriots. This time slot used to be my favorite on the station. Now it’s the one I’d like to avoid at all costs if I could. Whether it is Lou Merloni screaming about the Patriots defense or the weekly appearances from Peter King, this show just doesn’t isn’t capable of talking about the Patriots in any intelligent fashion. Then we have the Big Show, which I’ve come back to somewhat, especially when the other station is simply screaming every five seconds about how something SUCKS. Glenn Ordway is still a good interviewer, though his opinions are still pretty awful. Michael Holley is an enigma. I like the guy – how can you not? His books are extremely readable. Yet, I feel like something is lacking. He doesn’t seem to provide the “inside access” that I, and I’m sure everyone else, really wants. Whether this is from wanting to not tell tales out or school or what, I wish he gave us more insight. I generally like when he feels strongly enough about something to challenge Ordway. Have we ever found out what happened to Tedy Bruschi on Patriots Monday? They promoted him big-time, and then all of sudden he wasn’t there any more. I can’t get comment on it, but the feeling seems to be that it was ESPN-related. In the evenings, Mike Adams can be OK sometimes. That’s about the best I can say.

98.5 The SportsHub
To their credit, Toucher and Rich acknowledge all the time that they are not the most keen sports commentators out there, though of the two, Rich is the superior in that regard. When it comes to the Patriots, they rely on guests, whether it is Albert Breer, Greg Bedard or Chris Gasper. It’s hard to really judge them too much on Patriots coverage as they don’t try to do much with it. They don’t sit there and try to analyze the games. Fred will come out from time to time and insult Bill Belichick, but that’s coming from a bitter Jets fan, so you take it for what it is. On the mid-days, the biggest surprise I’ve found this season was that I was listening to Gresh and Zo almost every day. I like Scott Zolak as a football commentator and analyst. Andy Gresh, when he keeps it reined in, is pretty solid too. The pair of them were very good in talking Patriots this season without going berserk on the same topics everyone else was pounding. Albert Breer was a weekly guest on the show, usually spending an hour or two with them, and they would challenge him on some of his blanket statements about things. I don’t need to say too much about Felger and Mazz which hasn’t been said already. Yes, we know the Patriots SUCK. The drafting SUCKS. The defense SUCKS, and the CAP is CRAP. You’re absolutely right, Mike. Rinse, repeat. You see Damon Amendolara on some of those NFL Films shows, and that tells you the guy has some NFL knowledge, too often though, I hear him falling into “storylines” and going with those rather than real analysis. Which, I know, is asking too much of any radio host these days, as the game is all about having a great take.

As far as actual game broadcasts – Chad Finn noted last week that Gino Cappelletti has likely done his last game in the booth, while Gil Santos may get another year. Finn says Zolak will be moved from the sideline to the booth for next season. I think Santos might capable of doing more than one more year, if he is given the proper support – better spotters, etc. He’s still got the voice, and paints the picture beautifully.

CSNNE
When it comes to the Patriots Sports Sunday and Sports Tonight are simply continuations of the Felger and Mazz show. Whatever storylines were being followed there will be brought up here, with added guests. Tom Curran can occasionally interject some realism into things, and Troy Brown and Ty Law are terrific, especially together. SportsNet Central is a nice highlights show with minimal commentary. The Thursday night football lineup of New England Tailgate, Quick Slants and Patriots Football Weekly is a nice way to transition into the weekend.

NESN
I actually found myself watching more NESN Daily as the season went on. Matt Chatham and Mike Flynn make a good duo for analysis from the former player perspective, and Shalise Manza Young, Greg Bedard and Jeff Howe keep their reports pretty business-like, with some good-natured ribbing amongst them. Max Lane, well, he tries.

WBZ-TV
I’ll admit. I enjoy Patriots All Access. Yeah, I fast-forward through quite a bit of it, but the segment leading off, with the sights and sounds of the previous game, and especially the locker room footage, is always a must-see. The Beli-strator segments are interesting and informative, and Lyndsay Petruny is a guilty pleasure on the show. I’m always intrigued by that little diamond she makes with her hands when she’s speaking on camera. The pre and post game reports – Game Day and Fifth Quarter are pretty generic, Steve Burton always brings unintentional comedy to whatever he is on, but Fifth Quarter is always a must-view for the post game interviews with Belichick, Brady and other key players. The preseason games draw outrage from columnists offended by Patriots golf shirts, but they are what they are. Don Criqui isn’t what he used to be on play-by-play and you hold your breath every time Randy Cross breaks out the telestrator, but we don’t really watch these games for the announcers.

Who did I miss? I know there are the TV anchors and reporters like of Mike Dowling, Joe Amorosino, Dan Roche, and Levan Reid, as well as columnists like Shaughnessy, Buckley, Ryan, etc, but I tried to focus more on Patriots-oriented types. There is Pete Sheppard and his Patriots.com radio show, which can be a nice alternative during the season as well.

Rondo Triple-Double Leads Celtics Over Bulls

After stumbling in their last two games, the Celtics responded yesterday with a much-needed win on national television over the Chicago Bulls. Even though the latter was playing without MVP guard Derrick Rose, this was still a big win for the Celtics, who were without a couple of key cogs of their own. The 95-91 win was paced by Rajon Rondo, who put in 32 points, dished off 15 assists and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Rondo a-Rose to clatter – Steve Bulpett looks at Rondo’s performance, and has Chicago’s C.J. Watson, who defended him much of the afternoon saying of the task: “It wasn’t really difficult.” Peter May has Rondo coming up back after a pair of subpar games. Paul Flannery looks at the conundrum that is Rondo. A Sherrod Blakely says that even though Rondo wasn’t speaking after the game, his teammates had plenty to say. Christopher Smith wonders if attitude is all that is holding Rondo back.

Johnson picks up play to help lift Celtics – Jessica Camerato has rookie JaJuan Johnson stepping in with 12 points off the bench yesterday. Frank Dell’Apa has more on the first round pick seeing his most extensive action of the season.

Postgame notes: Wilcox starting to click – Chris Forsberg’s notebook has Chris Wilcox getting the start at center, and benefiting from the fast break pace of Rondo. The Herald notebook from Mark Murphy has more on the contributions of Wilcox and Johnson in the absence of Jermaine O’Neal and Brandon Bass. The Enterprise notebook from Jim Fenton also looks at the pair of forwards. The Globe notebook from Gary Washburn has more on the absence of Rose.

For Bobby V, full blast is the only way to go – Scott Lauber has the Red Sox new manager fired up for the season to start.

How new Red Sox Cody Ross is putting an uneasy offseason in the rear-view mirror – Rob Bradford with a look at the new outfielder.

Fiercest challenges await champs – Stephen Harris says that we’re likely to see a lot of games like Saturday’s coming up for the Bruins.

Wide receiver wish list has Patriots fans aflutter – Tom E Curran looks at the list of veteran receivers available, including Reggie Wayne, Brandon Lloyd and Marques Colston. (Even though Lloyd has stated he wanted to follow Josh McDaniels, his signing with agent Tom Condon likely puts an end to that notion.)

How good can linebacker Rob Ninkovich become? – Nick Underhill wonders if the linebacker still has room to grow.

Lakers Drop Celtics In OT, DeOssie Defended

Pau Gasol blocked a Ray Allen putback at the buzzer to give the Lakers an 88-87 win over the Celtics at the Garden last night. Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

It’s no surprise that Glenn Ordway completely circled the wagons yesterday around Steve DeOssie. He’s his friend and business partner.

In the Globe, Chad Finn defends DeOssie’s right to root for the Giants: Root of the matter: DeOssie in the clear

He makes the same points that I did about it being completely fine, natural even, that DeOssie should be loyal to the Giants. He also transcribes DeOssie’s statements from the pep rally and says of them: “Damning? Hardly.” He then adds that they shouldn’t be damaging to how he’s perceived in New England.

I disagree. While the words themselves may be relatively tame, it was the sneering manner in which they were delivered which has people annoyed. He clearly made it out like he simply tolerates us buffoons in New England while yearning to be in New York and around his beloved Giants. That’s the issue. Another issue is objectivity. I’m constantly lectured about how all reporters and analysts claim to be totally objective. They root for no team, especially the local teams. I realize that that statement is a complete farce – many have rooting loyalties, they just hide under the objectivity label to justify criticism.

I don’t think DeOssie should be punished in any way nor lose any of his analyst gigs. I’m just saying his credibility has taken a shot here, and it wasn’t the smartest business decision on his part. I think we’ve talked about this enough.

Media Roundup: Sports Are Fun, Except In Boston Sports Media - In my SB Nation media column, I’m looking at a couple of media members who have noticed the toxic atmosphere around Boston sports.

Our mean-spirited Super Bowl reflex - We’ll throw Howard Bryant’s log on the fire for discussion as well.

Mike Reiss Rants on Negativity, Legacies and Anger

Mike Reiss is as even-keeled a guy as you’ll find in the business. He stepped out of that demeanor in his ESPNBoston chat today, and delivered a welcome rant on a few of the topics that have bothered me, and plenty of others recently:

Dave (Elmira)

Mike, Another All Pro season of reporting. Thanks for the great work. Less of a question than a rant; ” Gronk disrespected himself,” “Brady’s legacy is tarnished.” A bunch of questions and statements without answer. I understand that it’s part of the entertainment value of the game, but what’s this got to do with football? I think I understand BB’s position better: That’s in the past. We are preparing for the next thing.

Mike (12:30 PM)
Dave, thanks for the compliment and now I rant…

Mike (12:31 PM)
The pictures of Gronkowski and Light at the post-Super Bowl party didn’t bother me at all. This is a 22-year-old kid who gave his all to this team this year. People blow off steam in different ways and he’s entitled to do whatever he wants (within the law) as far as I’m concerned. I’m more angered that some low-life would take video of it and distribute it. I find that despicable. …

Mike (12:32 PM)
…As for the legacy talk, my take is simple: Talk to me when their careers are over. We always seem to want to write the ending to stories while they are going on. Why? Why can’t we enjoy the journey and then talk legacy? …

Mike (12:34 PM)
I have been having some internal philosophical debates in my head about what media is these days. What are we trying to accomplish? When I got into this business, I thought we were supposed to tell people what they needed to know. Now I think we’re trending in a dangerous area where we report based on what will get clicks. It bothers me…

Mike (12:36 PM)
… I’m not perfect, but when I see a company soliciting publicity for dropping a boatload of Butterfingers in Boston and thanking Wes Welker for his drop — and then some report on it to give that company exactly what they want (publicity) — it makes me shake my head. What are we doing here?

Mike (12:36 PM)
Rant over.

Erik G (Los Angeles)
Love it when you get feisty, Mike. So while we’re at it, tell us your thoughts on the post game words by Brandon Jacobs…

Mike (12:36 PM)
Pathetic.

A little later, he added:

cp (reno,nv)
flip side what do you make of Brady’s wifes comments?

Mike (12:39 PM)
CP, I think she has to know better than to say that. She was wrong. At the same time, I was more angered that someone would incite her in that manner, but I guess I have to accept that’s where we are in society today. I just want to know what is in that person’s heart. What would possess them to taunt her? Who does these things? Maybe I’ve been living under a rock over the last 10 years, but when did everyone seem to get so angry?

Well said, Mike.

Hats off to you for sounding off on some of these things that seem to have gotten so prevalent and really take away from the enjoyment of sports.

In addition, I’ve really never been a big fan of Rick Reilly, but his column here is dead-on as well: It’s only a game.

NESN’s Spring Training Coverage Announced

Here is NESN’s press release for upcoming spring training coverage.

NESN TO DELIVER 46 CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF SPRING TRAINING COVERAGE FROM RED SOX NEW COMPLEX FENWAY SOUTH AT LEE COUNTY

67 Hours of Live Programming Begins with
Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers on February 19 at 6:00 PM

February 8, 2012 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, will deliver forty-six (46) consecutive days of Boston Red Sox Spring Training coverage that will include sixty-seven (67) hours of live programming leading up to opening day on April 5th.  NESN’s live coverage from JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Lee County will feature:

  • 13 days of Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers presented by Jordan’s Furniture
  • 5 days of WEEI’s The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show
  • 12 Spring Training games in high definition

In addition, NESN Daily will feature nightly reports and exclusive interviews from Florida and NESN.com will include up-to-the-minute news from new Red Sox beat reporter Didier Morais and exclusive video in a special Spring Training section at NESN.com/springtraining.

“NESN is committed to bringing our fans the most comprehensive coverage of Red Sox baseball in 2012 starting with day one of Spring Training,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “JetBlue Park is a beautiful facility, and we can’t wait to give Red Sox fans a look at Fenway South.”

13 Days of Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers presented by Jordan’s Furniture

NESN’s live Spring Training coverage begins the day pitchers and catchers report on Sunday, February 19 at 6 pm with Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers presented by Jordan’s Furniture. The evening shows will be shot from inside JetBlue Park near the new ballpark’s Green Monster. NESN studio host Tom Caron will be joined by NESN’s Peter Gammons, Red Sox field reporter Jenny Dell, and Red Sox players, coaches, and executives to deliver 13 consecutive days of live programming from Fenway South.

5 Days of WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Morning Show

NESN’s live coverage from Fort Myers will also include five days of WEEI’s The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show beginning Thursday, February 23rd. John Dennis and Gerry Callahan will be in the brand new JetBlue Park to deliver exclusive interviews with players and coaches.

12 Spring Training Games, All in HD

NESN’s high definition (HD) coverage of twelve (12) Grapefruit League games will begin Saturday, March 3 at 7 pm when the Red Sox play Boston College in the first-ever televised game from JetBlue Park. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will team up for their 12th season together in the NESN broadcast booth to deliver all the action.

NESN’s Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers Schedule

DATE

PROGRAM

TIME

Sunday, February 19 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Monday, February 20 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, February 21 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 22 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday, February 23 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Friday, February 24 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 25 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

10:00 AM – NOON

Sunday, February 26 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

10:00 AM – NOON

Monday, February 27 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, February 28 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Wednesday, February 29 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 1 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Friday, March 2 Red Sox LIVE from Fort Myers

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show in Fort Myers

DATE

PROGRAM

TIME

Thursday, February 23 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Friday, February 24 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Monday, February 27 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Tuesday, February 28 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

Wednesday, February 29 Dennis & Callahan in Fort Myers

6:00 – 9:00 AM

NESN’s 2012 Red Sox Spring Training Game Schedule

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME

Saturday, March 3 Boston College

7:00 PM

Sunday, March 4 Minnesota

1:30 PM

Monday, March 5 at Minnesota (Fort Myers)

7:00 PM

Friday, March 9 Pittsburgh

7:00 PM

Saturday, March 10 Tampa Bay

7:00 PM

Sunday, March 11 at Baltimore (Sarasota)

7:00 PM

Sunday, March 18 at Tampa Bay (Port Charlotte)

1:00 PM

Tuesday, March 20 Toronto

7:00 PM

Thursday, March 22 New York Yankees

7:00 PM

Saturday, March 24 Philadelphia

1:30 PM

Sunday, March 25 at Toronto (Dunedin)

1:00 PM

Sunday, April 1 Minnesota

1:30 PM

Back In the Spotlight, Bruins Trounced By Sabres

The Bruins have had the benefit of flying under the radar here in recent weeks, and it’s probably for the best, as they’ve been scuffling a bit after that impossibly hot streak earlier in the season. Last night things might’ve come to a head though, as the Bruins were beaten by the Buffalo Sabres 6-0.

Bruins take big step back – Steve Conroy has the Bruins falling flat on their faces last night.

Bruins need to start putting up a fight – Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins competitive fires seem to be extinguished.

Tim Thomas is putting attention on himself – DJ Bean has the Bruins goaltender once again putting himself in the spotlight with his political/social commentary.

The Los Angeles Lakers invade the Garden tonight as the two aging squads continue to fight to remain among the NBA elite.

Aging Lakers, C’s set for toe-to-toe tussle – Steve Bulpett thinks that tonight could resemble a prize-fight between two aging champions. Gary Washburn says that these teams are like mirror images right now. Peter May says that the Lakers aren’t even the best team in Los Angeles right now. Scott Souza says that the two clubs are headed in opposite directions at the moment.

Bryant: ‘I hated Larry, but I loved him’ – A. Sherrod Blakely has Kobe talking about Larry Bird, who said on Bill Simmons’ podcast the other day that Kobe is the player he’d most like to play with in today’s NBA.

Kobe Bryant finds much to talk about with C’s, Lakers – Bulpett has more from Kobe on Bird and the Celtics in general.

The entire offense dropped the ball – Greg A Bedard’s analysis has the offense, specifically the line, to blame for this loss.

Pats score in transition – Ian R Rapoport looks at the success the Patriot have had while rebuilding almost their entire roster.

Welker situation is issue No. 1 – Mike Reiss wonders how the team will approach contract talks with their top receiver.

Ten points of emphasis for the Patriots this offseason – Christopher Price prioritizes the offseason for the Patriots.

Getting past agony of defeat an historically tough task for Pats – Karen Guregian says that history dictates that next season will be a very difficult one for New England.

OK, here we go.

Pats fans, leave Steve DeOssie alone – Steve Buckley defends the honor of Steve DeOssie.

This is for youse knuckle-dragging, nose-picking, mismatched-socks-wearin’,couldn’t-win-a-battle-of-wits-with-a-Pepsi-machine fans who are spitting up your Doritos over Steve DeOssie’s over-the-top passion for the New York Giants: You’ve become the laughingstock of sporting America.

Nothing like insulting hyperbole to start off a column.

As usual, Steve Buckley has no clue.

No one is mad or upset that DeOssie feels a loyalty to the New York Giants, given that his greatest professional success came there, and his son currently plays for the franchise. It’s only natural and fitting that DeOssie would feel that loyalty.

What people have an issue with is how he talked at the pep rally, and the manner in which he talked about his colleagues and Patriots fans – as if they were all stupid. He also inferred that life is very difficult for him in Patriots country – even though he has made a nice post-playing-days career here in New England as a radio and TV personality, analyzing the Patriots, and with his restaurant and other ventures with Fred Smerlas which all depend on the loyalty of Patriots fans.

People don’t enjoy it when someone implies to others that they are stupid. People don’t like it when the appearance is that someone has put up a front to appease them for many years when in reality that person loathes them and has no affection or loyalty to them at all, and when given the chance, talks bad about them to others. His explanation of himself on WEEI was clumsy and unapologetic.

That’s what it boils down to.

If Steve Buckley really believes that people are angry at Steve DeOssie because he is simply loyal to the Giants, then he is the one who couldn’t-win-a-battle-of-wits-with-a-Pepsi-machine and deserves to be the laughingstock of America.

Boston Sports Moves On, Pierce Passes Bird On Celtics Scoring List

While New England continues to try and recover from Sunday, the sports world moves on. Last night at the TD Garden, Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird on the Celtics all-time scoring list, and now sits in second place, behind only John Havlicek.

Speaking of Larry Bird, I found Bill Simmons podcast with the Celtics legend to just be tremendous and just the thing I needed to get my mind off the Patriots. There are all sorts of Celtics/Bird stories, nuggets in there, and it leaves you wanting more.

I heard five minutes of sports talk radio yesterday, and in it, I heard Dan Shaughnessy (On with Gresh and Zo – who have actually been tremendous the last few weeks) suggesting that Bob Kraft might try to strong-arm the league into giving him another “tomato can schedule,” (even though the schedule is done by formula and rotation with no input or say from owners) and happily talking about how the Patriots have now lost the most Super Bowls of any team in the NFL. (Tied with the Bills, Broncos and Vikings, actually.)

That was enough for me. As I said above, I think Gresh and Zo were very good in the last few weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, for the most part they stuck to football, stuck to on-the-field strategy and plays and kept out a lot of the nonsense that other shows want to glob onto at the first chance.

The other show that’s been pretty good the last few weeks was The Big Show. Holley and Ordway also put in solid shows, and I can’t even remember hearing Mike Adams much, if at all. Felger and Massarotti, after spending the entire season killing the team (while picking them to win each week) suddenly jumped on the bandwagon at the end of last week. In retrospect, that should’ve been my first clue that the Patriots were doomed.

Of course, the biggest fraud of the last week is Steve DeOssie, who led a Giants pep rally last week, acting like a high school cheerleader, taking shots at his New England media colleagues and the fans of the Patriots and saying how it he had a “hard time” sometimes living in New England – despite being born here, going to college here, playing two years for the Patriots and working here after his career, most of that on the back of the Patriots and their fans. He tried to explain himself (unapologetically) on the Big Show yesterday – DeOssie on Big Show: ‘I love New England’

But really, if he has such a hard time being here why doesn’t he just move to New York, be near his son, and the franchise he clearly loves and get a job analyzing that team? It’d be a win-win for everyone.

No one is asking him to be a cheerleader for the Patriots, but now everytime you hear him on the radio or see him on TV talking about the Patriots, you’re going to have the impression that it is all fraudulent, and just an act he puts on to appease the audience. You’re going to remember his talk about JPP and OSI and how hard it is for poor Steve to be around the area he grew up in. Even if there is no issue with what DeOssie said, it’s wasn’t the smartest business move for a guy who runs a restaurant and relies in other ways on Patriots fans support.

Then there is Eric Wilbur, who went from defending his absurd column on 98.5 to crying Uncle the next morning. If his goal was publicity, he succeeded in spectacular fashion, gaining TV and radio appearances and mentions in national columns. He’s never struck me as that sort, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, I guess.

OK. Just a few links this morning:

Fateful pass a rare type for Welker – Greg A Bedard tries to figure out whether Welker should’ve caught that pass. He excuses him.

‘Bottom liners’ completely miss the point – Tom E Curran disagrees, saying Welker should’ve caught that ball, and says that the blustering “did you win or did you not” bottom-liners who don’t see sports as a game of nuance and context and believe the Patriots failed and blemished themselves Sunday miss the point. *Slow clap*

Pats in good shape for Bourbon St. trip – Karen Guregian says that things are looking pretty good for a trip to New Orleans next February. Ian R. Rapoport isn’t so optimistic.

Paul Pierce thankful to fans, worthy of passing Green royalty – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics Captain thankful to reach the milestone in front of the Garden faithful. Ben Rohrbach has last night’s opposing coach with some perspective on the achievement. Paul Silas played with John Havlicek, after all.

Faith in Celtics franchise key to Pierce’s success – A. Sherrod Blakely looks at the rarity that is Paul Pierce in today’s NBA.